EXCLUSIVE: Actress Portia De Rossi has signed with ICM Partners. She was previously at WME. De Rossi next reprises her role as Lindsay Bluth Funke in Netflix’s new season of Arrested Development. Additionally, her series credits include ABC’s Better Off Ted, Fox’s Ally McBeal and FX’s Nip/Tuck. ICM Partners also reps De Rossi’s wife, comedian/talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
Portia de Rossi, known for her platinum blonde locks, is taking on one of TV’s best known brunettes — Lily Munster. The Arrested Development and Better Off Ted alumna is set to play the female lead in NBC’s Munsters reboot Mockingbird Lane.
Mariana Klaveno had previously been cast as Lily Munster but the deal was contingent on her being released from ABC’s pilot Devious Maids, where she was a regular. However, Devious Maids producer ABC Studios did not release Klaveno or agree to make her a recurring on the project, which is in consideration for a series pickup at Lifetime, sending NBC back to the drawing board.
Jean Smart, who had been pursued for multiple comedy pilots this season, is set to co-star opposite Portia de Rossi in ABC’s dueling sisters single-camera comedy pilot The Smart One. (Maybe the title spoke to her — it had her name written all over it, literally). The project, written by Don Todd, centers on a brilliant and successful woman (de Rossi) who has to go to work for her less brainy but more popular sister — a former beauty queen, weather girl … and now big-city mayor. Emmy winner Smart, who recurs on Harry’s Law, will play the sisters’ mother. Ellen DeGeneres, Todd and Lauren Corrao are executive producing for Warner Bros TV.
Emily Swallow and Sarayu Rao are the latest to board David E. Kelley’s TNT medical drama pilot Chelsea General. Based on CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta’s upcoming novel Monday Mornings, the project starring Alfred Molina and Ving Rhames follows the lives of five surgeons as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings. Swallow will play Dr. Michelle Robidaux, a young resident at Chelsea General who is still learning the ropes. The actress, repped by Don Buchwald/Fortitude and Gallant Management, originally tested for another role in the pilot that went to Jennifer Finnigan, but the producers liked her a lot and invited her to test for Dr. Robidaux. Rao, repped by …
EXCLUSIVE: The Ellen DeGeneres-produced comedy starring her wife Portia de Rossi, which sparked a bidding war in September, is going to pilot. But in a twist, the order is at ABC and not at NBC, where the pitch was originally sold with a put pilot commitment. I hear that, in a quick turnaround, ABC has snatched the multi-camera comedy titled The Smart One after NBC passed. The project, written by Samantha Who? co-creator/executive producer Don Todd, is about dueling sisters. Arrested Development and Ally McBeal alumna de Rossi plays one of them, a brilliant and successful woman who has to go to work for her less brainy but more popular sister — a former beauty queen, weather girl … and now big-city mayor. DeGeneres and Todd are executive producing with Lauren Corrao. The project hails from Warner Bros TV and DeGeneres’ studio-based production company A Very Good Production. It marks the first pilot order for A Very Good Production, in its first development season under a multi-year deal with WBTV, where it’s run by former Comedy Central president of original programming Corrao.